This week, the United States and Russia stationed troops in Armenia as neighboring Azerbaijan and Armenia engaged in a major military conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, an ethnic-Armenian controlled territory. U.S. troops confirmed they would proceed with a planned joint exercise alongside Armenian forces despite the conflict.
Troop Exercises Continue Amid Azerbaijan and Armenia’s Conflict: US and Russian Presence in Armenia
According to Miami Herald, amid the ongoing conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia the presence of U.S. and Russian troops stationed in Armenia further highlights the complex geopolitical situation in the region. These troops were in Armenia as neighboring Azerbaijan launched a significant military offensive in the ethnic-Armenian controlled territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.
US and Armenia proceeded with a planned joint military exercise called Eagle Partner 2023, involving 85 U.S. soldiers and 175 Armenians, despite the escalating tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia. This exercise commenced on September 11 and continued as scheduled, emphasizing the delicate balance of power and interests in this volatile part of the world.
As the neighboring Azerbaijan and Armenia engaged in a major military conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. American spokeperson stated that they did not perceive any immediate risk to their soldiers, and as a result, the troops remained in the area for the entire duration of the exercise.
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Ongoing Azerbaijan and Armenia Tension in Nagorno-Karabakh Region
According to Newsweek, the Nagorno-Karabakh region, though internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, is mainly inhabited by ethnic Armenians and has been governed by the self-declared Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. Conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted in the 1990s after the Soviet Union’s dissolution, resulting in ongoing tensions despite a 2020 Russian-brokered truce.
Recently, Azerbaijan claimed full control of the region after separatist Armenian fighters disarmed under a Moscow-mediated cease-fire. Talks between Azerbaijani and Nagorno-Karabakh representatives are ongoing to determine the region’s future. While Russia and Armenia have historically been close allies and are part of the Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organization, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin’s support during the conflicts with Azerbaijan.
Around 2,000 Russian peacekeepers played a role in deescalating the situation, with Pashinyan emphasizing their responsibility for Nagorno-Karabakh’s residents’ security. This complex geopolitical situation highlights the ongoing tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia, as well as the influence of Russia in the region.
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